Crude futures are again in the red as traders prepare for another API inventory release later today. We’re also in the heart of earnings season and several prominent stocks reported their quarterly results after the bell on Monday. In this article we’ll check out the results posted by W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), Brixmor Property Group Inc (NYSE:BRX), and Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) and see how they performed. We’ll also check out how the smart money is positioned among the five stocks.
We believe that imitating hedge funds and other large institutional investors can be helpful in identifying stocks capable of outperforming the broader market. Through extensive research that covered portfolios of several hundred large investors between 1999 and 2012, we determined that following the small-cap stocks that large money managers are collectively bullish on, can generate monthly returns nearly 1.0 percentage points above the market (see the details here).
Berkley Pulls Off Double Beat
W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) earned $0.82 per share on gross premiums of $1.94 billion for the second quarter, exceeding the consensus estimates by $0.05 per share and $90 million respectively. Net premiums written rose by 6.4% year-over-year while the company’s combined ratio came in at 94.9% after catastrophe losses. Book value inched up by 3.2% during the quarter to $39.97 per share. Hedge funds were pretty bullish on the insurer as of March 31. Of the 766 active funds that we track, 23 owned a combined $1.07 billion worth of W. R. Berkley Corp (NYSE:WRB) shares, which accounted for 15.60% of the float.
Gilead Shares in the Red Despite Earnings Beat
Traders are watching Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) today after the company reported its second quarter results yesterday. Although the company’s EPS beat estimates by $0.06 per share and revenue was in-line, the market was evidently expecting more than Gilead’s $3.08 in net income per share on revenue of $7.78 billion for the period. Sales of Gilead’s other drugs failed to offset the 28.9% year-over-year decline in Harvoni’s sales during the quarter. Thus, Gilead’s revenue fell by 5.6% year-over-year. Lower revenue guidance could also have something to do with the pre-market jitters, as shares are down by nearly 5%. Gilead expects net product sales of $29.50 billion-to-$30.50 billion for the year, down from the previous guidance range of $30.00 billion-to-$31.00 billion. During the first quarter, the number of funds in our system with holdings in Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) rose by four to 93.
On the next page we ‘ll dig into the earnings reports issued by Las Vegas Sands Corp, Brixmor Property Group, and Celanese Corporation.